Sermons

Love Without Hypocrisy - Part 3

Sun, Dec 09, 2018
Teacher: Tom Blackford
Duration:41 mins 22 secs

Message text

Love Without Hypocrisy – Part 3
Romans 12:9-10

INTRO:

Good morning. Today we will continue our study in the book of Romans chapter 12 verses 9 and 10 where we were last time. We started our study with verse 9, where Paul says “Let love be without hypocrisy”. We looked at love and saw the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 and some other places. We recognize that love is a vital part and maybe the most vital part of our relationship with God. Not only that we love Him, but first and foremost that He loves us.

We learned that it is love that makes everything meaningful and that the original language describes the facets of love with verbs, action words. Love is not a feeling in biblical terms but activity.

I want to turn our attention this morning to the qualifying phrase of that first part of verse 9. Paul says “Let love be without hypocrisy”. The hypocrite is a common topic in the Bible. There are a lot of passages about hypocrisy and the place of the hypocrite. Jesus spends a lot of time rebuking the religious leaders of his own day because of hypocrisy.

Let’s look at hypocrisy and define it from the standpoint of what the Bible says, then consider some applications of our own. I will let you know right off that I am apprehensive when talking about hypocrisy because there's a tendency to deal with this subject from the standpoint of that hypocrite out there somewhere. That other person, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Scribes, the people that Jesus talked to in His own day, those are people that are beyond me. I think there's a real tendency and perhaps temptation to talk about hypocrisy as something that doesn't apply personally. I want to be very careful about that because that would be the most hypocritical thing that we could ever do, to talk about hypocrisy as though it could not possibly apply to us.

What is hypocrisy? Most of us believe we know it when we see it. We recognize hypocrisy when someone pretends to be something they're not and we know the truth about it. When someone is pretending to be something they are not they often fail. The story is told of a zoo that was noted for their great collection of different animals. One day the gorilla died, and to keep up the appearance of a full range of animals, the zookeeper hired a man to wear a gorilla suit and fill in for the dead animal. It was his first day on the job, and the man didn’t know how to act like a gorilla very well. As he tried to move convincingly, he got too close to the wall of the enclosure and tripped and fell into the lion exhibit. He began to scream, convinced his life was over...until the lion spoke to him: “Be quiet, or you’re going to get us both fired!”

We recognize immediately a sense of unfairness about things, such as when the pot tries to call the kettle black, when the goose says that there's something good for it but not for the gander. We have these phrases that describe this aspect of the unfairness of hypocrisy. We all feel that a person should practice what they preach. If a person takes a stand or a position then they should live by that position. We should be able to see that in their lives.

Hypocrisy assaults our most basic moral sensibilities. This tells us something and should help us recognize why Jesus so clearly refutes hypocrisy in His ministry.

I. Hypocrisy - To define it in the biblical sense will help us to understand why hypocrisy is so reprehensible to God. Biblically speaking, the phrase “without hypocrisy” in Romans 12:9 is translated from a single compound Greek word (ἀνυπόκριτος anypókritos, an-oo-pok'-ree-tos) which means “without dissimulation”, that which is “sincere” or “unfeigned”. It means that “which is pure” by using the definition of sincere. It's an interesting word because its negative form is the Greek word (ὑπόκρισις hypókrisis, hoop-ok'-ree-sis) which means “dissimulation”, “deceit”, “one who plays a part”, and it is translated in New Testament by the noun hypocrisy.
A. In Luke 12:1 Jesus called hypocrisy the leaven of the Pharisees. Interesting terminology as we recognize Jesus’ distain for the religion of the Pharisees and His willingness to rebuke it. He warns his disciples against the influence of hypocrisy.
1. Jesus recognized that not only were the Pharisees hypocrites but that their hypocrisy could influence His own disciples, those who had a true desire to serve him. Even those that were sincere at this point could be influenced by the hypocrisy of someone else.
2. The hypocrite was a real issue in Jesus’ ministry not only because He wanted to correct the false religion of the day but because He wanted to protect his disciples from the influence of hypocrisy in their own lives.
B. Jesus used the word hypocrite 15 times in the Book of Matthew in his denunciation of the Pharisees and scribes. The word is used over and over again in the New Testament to describe the individual who pretends to be someone else. The Greek word was used to describe one who plays a part and comes from the custom among Greek actors to wore masks in the theater.
1. I have read that the derivation of this terminology was from the times of the Greek theaters, which were open air theaters. It is theorized that individuals wanting to amplify their voice had special masks to help make their voices carry.
2. They wore the mask for two reasons, one so they could be heard, and the other so they could better portray to the audience the character that they were acting out or pretending to be.
3. The word came to describe an individual who is an actor, an individual who played a part in the play. If you were an ancient Greek, you might say there are a lot of hypocrites in Hollywood. Now you could say that today too I guess. Nelson's Bible dictionary said that in the Greek Theater a hypocrite was one who wore a mask and played a part on the stage imitating the speech mannerisms and conduct of the person that was portrayed. Unger says the hypocrite is a double Person, a natural one and an artificial one. The first he keeps to himself the second he puts on as he does his clothes and makes his appearance before men.
C. In the biblical sense the hypocrite was not a theater actor but one who would act a part for others to see, a sham. He appeared, acted, one way, and his appearance to the world was different from the way he really was.
1. That definition helps us understand Jesus' words and the terminology He uses to describe the hypocrite in places like Matthew Chapter 23.
2. It’s interesting as well when we take that definition and plug it into Jesus' description of hypocrisy in Mark 7:6-7 – “6. He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 7. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” Jesus portrays the hypocrite in this scripture as someone who uses his lips to appear as though he's one thing but in actuality, within his heart and his inner person, he’s somebody else. We hear his voice and what we see is his mask. But actually that's not who he really is.
3. How do we see hypocrisy as a Christian? That is from the viewpoint of understanding what God says in scripture? I would like to suggest some ways we should see it.
II. Hypocrisy is foolishness - It's a denial of the all-powerful God. When a person attempts to fool others by appearing to be something on the outside that they are not really on the inside, who do they think they are fooling? They might fool me and they might fool you. Maybe even for long periods of time, but they cannot ever fool God.
A. When a person attempts to live a hypocritical life, make that their way of life, they deny that God is able to see them. They deny the nature of God himself.
1. In Luke Chapter 12:1-3 – “1. In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. .” Why should they be concerned and why should they be aware of leaven of the Pharisees? Jesus goes on; 2. "For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3. "Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops”
2. Jesus is warning them to be careful about being a hypocrite, of being influenced by the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Leaven spreads, that is the way it works. Because God sees all and in the end not only does God see all, but God will make everything known. God will make known the things that nobody else knows about, things that are hidden in people's lives.
3. God will reveal them because God sees everything. That means any attempt to try to hide something from God, from a moral standpoint to try and disguise who we really are inwardly, is foolishness.
4. In Hebrew 4:13 – “there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” It's a sobering thought isn't it?
5. Sobering to know that God sees everything even the innermost parts of our heart. He knows whether or not we're being hypocritical, whether we're trying to put on an appearance, whether we're doing this just simply for the scene. He knows all of that. We may be able to fool others but we cannot fool God.
B. Jesus accepted the invitation of a Pharisee to come into his home and eat a meal. His fellow Pharisees in Luke Chapter 11 immediately judged that Jesus was a sinner because He failed to wash His hands before He ate.
1. That was a custom among them, a tradition, that they wash their hands sometimes several times in the course of a meal to prevent being ceremonially defiled.
2. Luke 11:39 says, the Lord said to him “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. "Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?” It is interesting how often Jesus can take what seems to be a rather difficult religious issue boil down to a simple statement of truth and bring people to the light in a simple rhetorical question.
3. How simple it is for us to recognize that God made all of us, that He made the outside and the inside, that He made the physical man, and He made the heart, mind, and soul.
4. If God can see on the outside, then certainly God can see on the inside and Jesus says to these Pharisees you are foolish to think that you could simply clean yourselves up on the outside to be seen by men and stay filthy on the inside. You cannot fool God because God sees all.
5. Hypocrisy from the standpoint of the nature of God is absolute foolishness.
III. Hypocrisy is selfish – Why do we pretend to be something that we're not? Why do we put on a sham and make a show? As I was thinking about the foolishness of hypocrisy, I wondered why we would make the attempt... and I realized it was pride, it was because we are self focused. The bottom line is we do this to serve our own interests. We don't do this for someone else. We do it for our own interests; it is the opposite of love.
A. Jesus pointed this out in his denunciation of Pharisees and their hypocrisy. He says all their works they do to be seen by men, they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. Why? He says because they love the best seats at the feast, the best seats in the synagogue, greetings in the marketplaces and to be called by man Rabbi, Rabbi.
1. They do this because they want the attention, because they want something for themselves, so they put on a show on the outside. It is because they are by their very nature selfish and the hypocrite almost always has a selfish agenda.
2. While they are appearing to be something that they are not, they show they are not interested in what is true or what is right either in their own life or the life of others. That's why many times the hypocrite is willing to put up with hypocrisy in the life of others and not expose it even when they see it because they recognize that there is a personal value in not exposing hypocrisy. There are some areas of life where that becomes obvious.
3. We can recognize this when people are nice to us even when they really don't want to be nice and they really don't like us. When I was working I would come across this with vendors all the time. They’ll shake hands and ask me about my kids and my grandkids, carry on a conversation, be friendly. This person is really nice and he wants to be my friend.
4. Of course I'm cautious, not because I don't want a new friend or because there are not some vendors that are really nice guys, but because I've been in situations when later on he, acting like my best buddy, wants some inside information on some bid coming up or on a competitor. I realize that maybe they were just trying to get on my good side to gain an advantage.
B. Do people ever do that? Do people ever put on a sham or pretend to be your friend simply to get something out of you later on? Of course they do. Then when they fail to get what they want, the sham will fail, the mask will drop, the real self comes out and you really find out what they think about you. They really didn't like you all along and that's what hypocrisy is all about.
1. That's why Jesus was so interested in destroying hypocrisy or at least guarding His disciples against it because we know, in the most basic human sense, it is detestable to us for someone to be disingenuous and not really show us who they are.
2. Hypocrisy is that way because it is rooted in selfishness.
IV. Hypocrisy is infectious – It is infectious when one person decides to live a lie to deny their conscience, it can embolden others to do the same. Not only does it affect their life but it also infects the lives of others. We need to recognize that particularly as parents. If we're not living up to what we're teaching, if we're not practicing what we preach, if our religion is just something on the outside and we live anyway that we want during the week, our family, our children, and those that are close to us, will see right through it. If we want them to have a true meaningful relationship with God we had better not be hypocrites ourselves. It begins with us because hypocrisy by its very nature is infectious.
A. I think that becomes clear when we take the case of Peter as Paul addresses it in Galatians 2:11-13 – “11. But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12. for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.”
1. This particular event is rather profound. We think about the important place of the apostles and their leadership within the early church and even the relationship that existed between the different apostles, between the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter, and how that was to impact the unity of the church.
2. The apostleship would be one. The character and teaching of the apostles would be the foundation on which the church would be built. The Bible is so up front about this. The revelation of the Spirit is so real to us that God will even tell us about this. The Holy Spirit didn't have to tell us about it, but He does, and He tells us that Peter himself played the hypocrite. Not only did he act in a hypocritical way over the issue of circumcision but that his hypocrisy led others to do the very same thing so that the brethren and even Barnabus were carried away with the hypocrisy of Peter.
3. That should tell us something. It should tell us about the danger of even a single hypocritical event in the life of a leader. A hypocritical leader can do enormous spiritual damage to the Lord’s Church in at least two ways.
i. One is if he's accepted into the group as a leader and his hypocrisy is never exposed. If he is allowed to continue to lead, even though he's leading a double life. He lowers the standard for everybody else, so that as the standard, the ideal to live up to, he becomes something that's less than what God would have him be.
ii. All those he would teach and all those he would influence, would be less. What happens in those circumstances is that sometimes the focus turns outward and others then are judged by their faithfulness in whether or not they heed this hypocritical standard... rather than by whether or not they are truly faithful to God.
iii. Matthew 23:15 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” He was saying your hypocrisy completely destroys your ability to influence for good. When you finally do get a disciple he's simply a replication of yourself and he's just as much a hypocrite as you are. You've lowered the standard of what makes someone acceptable to God in your own life.
iv. Then there's the other way. If a person is accepted as a leader and then his hypocrisy is exposed, people recognize that he is not what he ought to be and he's made out to be a hypocrite in front others and any good influence he may have had is reversed. Anything good that he might have done is blown away because now he is seen as someone who was untrue and disingenuous.
B. Jesus warned his disciples about the failed leadership in Matthew chapter 23 as well. Earlier he said that the Scribes the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. He's saying they have the authority in religion. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe that observe and do, but do not do according to their works for what they say and do not do. Jesus says they have authority that must be recognized and if they tell you to do something do it. But do not do according to their works because they are hypocrites when they bind heavy burdens hard to bear and lay them on the men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
1. How effective is leadership that goes to someone and says; “I have the authority to tell you what you need to do, but don't do like me. That doesn't work very does it? It doesn’t work in parenting and it doesn't work in the leadership of the church. It doesn't even work in our country.
2. There are leaders that somehow think they can stand up and say “I want you to do this but I'm not going to do this myself”. We recognize that for what it is, its hypocrisy and we give it very little consideration.
C. We have to recognize that hypocrisy is extremely damaging to the leadership of the church when it is found in those who would take the lead.
1. Many historians contend that such successful leaders as Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte, were able to lead great armies in very successful campaigns because the people that followed them believed that they were actually willing to do whatever they were asking others to do.
2. These leaders believed in the people they were leading, they were actually interested in them and they would not ask them to do anything that they wouldn't do themselves. They would stand at the front and go to battle with them.
3. There is something to be said about that on the spiritual plain. Spiritual leaders, that are afraid to confront error or they're unwilling to address the spiritual problems in their own lives, have no religious prerogative on which to ask anyone to follow them.
4. When they do they are simply playing the hypocrite.
D. Jesus was not that way. He told us to take up our cross and follow him. His leadership was by humble example and He proved that He was never hypocritical in anything that He said or did. Therefore we are very willing to follow him even to the point of death.
V. Hypocrisy is heartless - I believe that Jesus’ stern words against hypocrisy flow from the fact that hypocrisy steals away the power of the Gospel to transform the person inwardly. Go back to Jesus words and Mark 7:6 – “Well did Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites as it is written this people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” [para]. Here He contrasts the lips, physical part of the body with the heart, the mind. What God, through Isaiah, is saying is that here are people who use their lips, an outward physical member of their body to honor Me but inwardly they are far from Me. The contrast between the lips and the heart reflect the ability of the hypocrite to comply outwardly while still making no inward change at all.
A. Is it possible for a person to do things outwardly even in strict compliance with what God says and never be changed inwardly? Is it possible for a person to simply go through the motions and never become any better even by doing the things God commanded them to do? In an outward way to attend the worship service, to take the Lord’s Supper, to pray, to sing songs; do all of those things outwardly with the body and yet never change inwardly?
1. That's the danger of hypocrisy. That's the real threat of hypocrisy to the Gospel and the power of God to do things among God's people. Obedience in the scriptures is never defined as outward conformity alone.
2. Individuals are never to be judged by the incomplete standard of outward obedience alone. We have to be very careful about that. That is something we can fall prey to. A person is deemed to be faithful if he attends assemblies regularly, if he's here all the time he's faithful,... without any recognition of whether or not he is a better person. Or any recognition of his living right before God the rest of the week or if his heart is right.
3. The standard of God goes deeper than the standard of man and certainly goes deeper than the standard of the hypocrite. The hypocrite learns to make arbitrary distinctions in terms of what God requires of him—and what God requires of others.
B. In Matthew 23:23-24 - Jesus says; “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”.
1. Jesus’ words are in no way intended to distain the aspect of tithing or of fasting. These requirements that the Pharisees were willing to place on themselves and place on others, were not to be neglected or set aside. They had to be recognized as ways in which individuals could fulfill their conscience before God.
2. What Jesus was talking about and ultimately bringing to rebuke here was the ability of an individual to take certain things and amplify them above other things, and all the while neglecting what He calls weightier matters of the law, which are justice and mercy and faith. Those inward things that can't be measured outwardly—can't be seen with the eye. Things that can only be deemed possible, probable in the person's life by the actions of mercy and faith and justice. Those things were missing.
3. Jesus’ analogy of straining at a gnat is reference to a common practice the Pharisees had of pouring their water through a sieve to strain out the small insects that couldn’t be seen which might light on the water, because the insect was unclean.
4. To go around eating insects made you ceremonially unclean. You had to be careful if you're going to drink a cup of water. There might be a gnat in that cup and if you drank that gnat you'd be unclean. The practice of the Pharisees to strain their water sometimes several times to get out the insects. Jesus uses that as His analogy here.
5. Here is a person that is straining out gnats and he's very willing to strain the water several times to make sure he doesn't swallow this infinitesimal insect. All the time he's able to open up wide and swallow a camel, the largest mammal in all of Palestine! We see the absurdity of the picture, and the absurdity of the picture is the point itself.
6. How ridiculous is it the think that a person could actually swallow a camel? How could you ever get your mouth opened wide enough to swallow a camel? You just can't do it.
C. Oh, but spiritually you can. We can become so consumed with the small things that matter to us, the outward things that seemingly define, to mans way of thinking what makes us right or wrong before God, that we overlook those things that are huge in Gods eyes, that are true character traits of God’s people.
1. Things like love and mercy, compassion, generosity. What Jesus shows here is the absurdity of hypocrisy.
2. We are challenged to look deeper, below the surface, especially when we judge ourselves, and especially when the look is to be inward.
D. Continuing in Matthew 23:25-28 - “25. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26. "Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28. "Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
1. A number of years ago we had a major power failure. Power came back on and everything looked good. Well almost. The freezer in the garage was on a GFI and when the power came back on the GFI tripped without our noticing.
2. Time passed, the weather was hot and we had no call to go into the garage. In the garage was this nice, white freezer. Finally after several days I had need to go out there and when I opened the freezer.... Let’s just say it was very unpleasant. The freezer looked nice on the outside, it was nearly new, but on the inside it made me gag. It was something far different on the inside then it was on the outside.
3. I strongly suspect that's the way we can be with God. We might be able to walk among men and they see us on the outside and think there’s a nice person, certainly God can use him, but God never puts us on board without opening up and looking. Sometimes you see we're not the same on the inside as we are on the outside. We might appear useful in the church to people that look on the outside and judge from the things that are on the outside but on the inside is where God looks. He always looks on the inside.
4. God always looks on the inside first and that's what makes hypocrisy so foolish. Jesus said you clean up the outside but you need to take a look inside as well.
VI. How do we avoid hypocrisy? - The verses that we've read where Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and Scribes, the religious hypocrites, speak to me today showing me that I must fight the tendency to play a part rather than live the truth in my own life.
A. There are some steps I believe we should consider that we can take in our own life to avoid hypocrisy. It's more than just saying I'm not going to do that because sometimes the tendency is very great.
B. Step number one - acknowledge we are sinners. Dig down deep in ourselves to see who we really are and acknowledge that we are sinners.
1. It's insightful to me that Paul in Romans 12, before he ever gets to verse nine and talks about love being without hypocrisy, he says in verse 3 “everyone is not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly” [para].
2. Each of us has to recognize who we are. To exalt our self above God's own definition of us is to play the hypocrite. It certainly will set the stage and lay the foundation for being the hypocrite.
3. You remember the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke Chapter 18. The Pharisee’s prayer was much different than the prayer of the publican. We see in the Pharisee’s prayer evidence that he really didn't get it. He really didn't understand himself. It never had really sunk deeply into him that he was a sinner. His prayer was God I thank you that I am not like other people, thieves and rogues and adulators, even like this tax collector.
4. We have to be careful. If we find ourselves thanking God that we're not like other people that ought to warn us, because the fact is—we are like other people. His self-deception, about who he really was, thinking that he was not as bad as someone else, was at the very root of his hypocrisy.
5. The publican’s prayer was much different. His self-evaluation was God be merciful to me because I am a sinner. I am like all men.
C. Think about this in the sports world. Bill Vaughn, the late syndicated columnist, once said in the game of life it’s a good idea to have a few early losses which relieve you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season.
1. If you start out the season and you win a couple in a row, three or four in a row. You start thinking hey we're not going to lose ever. Usually you do.
2. If you start out early and you lose the first one that thought's gone right off the bat. Sometimes a few early losses are good for us because we recognize right off we are not going to go undefeated. We have to come to grips with who we really are and that destroys the basis for hypocrisy in our lives.
D. Step number two - We need to focus on service rather than status. We can never overcome the temptation to be the hypocrite until we overcome the fleshly tendencies to serve ourselves rather than serve others.
1. It's very seldom you find a practicing hypocrite involved in serving other people, giving himself for other people and investing himself in what’s good for other people.
E. Step number 3 - Spend more time on the inside of our lives than on the outside of our lives. How much time do we spend dealing with the outside of our life? The impression we make on others, the clothes that we wear, our makeup, our hair, our cars, our houses, how we look, and what we believe other people think about us?
1. All of those things consume a great deal of our time and energy. Compare with that how much time we spend on the inside of ourselves, who we really are. Making the person that nobody sees, but us and God, look better.
2. That inside person is made better by prayer, Bible study, reflection and confession of sin and repentance.
3. How much time do we spent on that? If we spend more time on the inside than we do on the outside we'll destroy the basis of hypocrisy. Because not only will we see ourselves for who we really are but we'll be working on the part that God sees and that God recognizes first.

CONCLUSION:
Let’s think about the distinction between love and hypocrisy. Paul could not have put any two things in greater contrast in a single verse than he did in verse 9 when he said let love be without hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is never, ever the loving thing, and love could never be performed by the hypocrite. If we put ourselves in a position of serving others rather than serving ourselves we destroy the basis on which we could play the hypocrite.

Hypocrisy is a real danger among Christians today and we need to recognize that in our own life. We could say that there is a real connection between love and hypocrisy. As I mentioned before I don't know if there could be any two terms that could be more diametrically opposed as love and hypocrisy.

We look at the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us. We look at the cross, the price that was paid for our sins. We recognized that if there was anything that was ever genuine, that was ever right and truthful, that was upfront without a sham, it was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us. Satan many times attempted to try to get Jesus to turn it into an act of hypocrisy to take the shortcut and the easy way, to curse God to turn against those whom He was trying to save, to think of Himself and come down off the cross.

Jesus did not give in to those temptations, He did the loving thing. He died for us and He rose again on the third day so we can live like Him.

It's possible for us to live the genuine Christian life out of love. If you come to him in a pure motivation to do what is right, not to be seen by man or put on a sham or to be a part of some organization that will make you feel good about yourself, but in true, humble service, because you recognize that you are a sinner and you need the blood of Jesus Christ to make you right with God.

If you want to serve the one who died for you come in faith and repent of sin to be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins. If you have that need or any other we stand ready to assist you as you come forward while we stand and sing.

Invitation song: 644 - “Trust and Obey”

Reference sermon: David Schmidt

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